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Subaru Conundrum: Beater or New-New?

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014

Subaru Conundrum: Beater or New-New?

This is a tough one. Two cars from a company known for building durable all-weather machines. Both more than capable of thrashing a back country trail at speed, the question is, which one would you dirty up?

The Cars:

The 2.5rs is a $2,500 craigslist find, bought specifically for ice racing. It’s got a bit of rust, and had a cracked header when we picked it up. $40 for a new head from Broken Motorsports(thanks Bill) and $450 for top notch snow tires left the 2.5 ready to ice race.

The 2011 STI is a part of the CCC fleet, and it’s pristine. Upgrades to the ECU, intake, and exhaust leave it with 400hp and 495 torque foots. It’s a monster that burbles a lot, and makes whooshing sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi movie with pneumatic space doors.

The Conundrum:

Most car-people (or maybe just me) see a Subaru and immediately flash to Colin McRae-style sideways gravel spraying rally driving. We (I) assume everyone who drives a Subaru is an insane hoon.

The obvious choice is the 2011 Subaru; it’s newer, it’s got more power. And mud flaps. But how hurt would your “jalop-soul” be after a spirited run on gravel, leaving the once pristine STI with rock chips in the front bumper and bends in the wheels. I know mine would be aching.

The 2.5rs is rough and ready, having already survived one ice-race weekend with the only casualty being a lost exhaust. Which wasn’t really a problem until the guys had to fit it in the trunk at the end of the day. They cut it into three pieces to fit, easy peasy. It begs to be thrashed with little consequence; they even drove it to and from the frozen lake 6 hrs north of NYC with no problems.

The Answer:

So if you could only own one, to ice race AND daily, what would it be? Tell us in the comments below.

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